Homeschoolers can get a diploma from their parents. The parents are responsible for ensuring the homeschooler completes all the courses and issues one.
However, in some states, homeschoolers can get a diploma from a local public high school or homeschool associations. Students in educational programs or online public schools get their diplomas from those institutions.
Want to learn more about how a homeschooler can get a diploma and other important documents? Then read on, and also know how they are verified.
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How Do Homeschoolers Get a Diploma?
For various reasons, parents may decide to school their kids at home instead of sending them to a traditional school. Homeschooling has various advantages, one being that homeschooled students perform significantly better than students in public institutions.
However, one question most people venturing into homeschooling often wonder is how homeschoolers get a diploma. A homeschooler needs a diploma to pursue higher education, seek employment, or recruit in the army. So, how do they do it?
Here are the various ways a homeschooler can get a diploma.
1. From a Parent
This way is the most common way homeschooled students get their diplomas. The parent can buy a template online and edit the information before printing. The parent can also buy a ready-made diploma by providing all the necessary information. The information to add to a diploma include;
- Homeschool name
- Students name
- A statement
A student may also create a custom-made diploma but cannot issue it to themselves without a guardian. However, this document should look professional and be appealing to avoid questioning.
2. From a Local Public School
Homeschoolers in some states are required to pick up their diploma from a local public school or Department of Education, like in the State of Pennsylvania. This state and others like New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts are among the high-regulation states.
You must take a two-day standardized test to get a high school equivalency diploma in States like New York and Pennsylvania. As of 2022, New York State reverted to GED, which can be done online. GED was replaced with TASC for financial reasons, including its high cost.
3. From Homeschool Association
In some states, like Pennsylvania, a student can receive a diploma from a homeschooling organization. However, the student must fulfill various requirements before getting one, like taking a test or completing 30 college-level credits. Usually, 30 credits take up to one year to complete.
An organization capable of issuing a diploma in this state includes the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency.
4. From a Virtual School organization
Students homeschooling online under a program can get their diplomas from these organizations. For instance, students in an online school, like Stamford University online or Oak Meadow School, can get their diplomas from these schools.
In these online schools, students only need to complete the credits needed and take several tests to get their diplomas. Most times, the diploma can be from online, in some cases, sent through the mail.
5. From Umbrella Schools
Umbrella schools, also called cover schools, act as private schools for homeschooled students. The schools help homeschoolers be within state laws that require record-keeping and testing. However, not all states have these umbrella schools, so research accordingly.
If you’re under an umbrella homeschooling organization, they will offer the diploma once you’re done. One advantage of umbrella schools is that they act as private institutions offering a physical address which adds legitimacy to the diploma.
Ways to Verify a Homeschool Diploma?
Sometimes, homeschool diplomas can be questionable, especially by employers, which leads to verification problems. However, before confusion builds, the parties involved should learn ways to verify the diploma.
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There are various ways on how to verify a homeschool diploma. They include the following:
1. Through Transcripts
Transcripts are documentation that shows the courses taken by a student and the grades they got on each. The transcript is necessary not only as proof to an employer but also needed by the military and most trade schools.
Just like a diploma, it can be created from a template downloaded from various online websites. The various details a transcript should have include:
- Student’s name
- School name and address
- List of courses in order by year
- Grading system used
- GPA (overall)
- Assigned credits per course
2. Through a Proof of Compliance
Most states, especially the high and moderate regulation states, require parents to file the paperwork when they want to homeschool. The paperwork shows that the parents are legally compliant with all homeschooling laws.
These documents can be used to verify that a student did indeed go through the homeschooling system and got the diploma. A sworn affidavit of completion is one of them and is common in the State of Florida. Other compliant documents can be used for verification in states where these laws are not necessary.
3. Through a Test
The test is the best way of verifying a homeschool diploma, as the student gets a chance to prove their ability by action. However, the test method is rarely used, but the few who indulge in it can use it as a verification.
4. Background Check
A background check may involve hiring an outside firm to check through diplomas and other documents submitted. The downside of this method is that most diplomas from institutions that are not accredited are rejected.
Homeschoolers who studied under an umbrella institution may have an easier time getting verified. Their diplomas include a physical address that can help speed up the verification.
Remember, if there are problems verifying a homeschool diploma, there are organizations that can help with that. Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) is among these organizations that provide both legal and educational support.
In most cases, the parent issues the diploma for homeschoolers after they complete the required courses. However, some states require parents to use diplomas developed by their respective Departments of Education.
When you’re at it, ensure you learn about the homeschooling laws in your state to avoid future problems. Homeschool diplomas are valid, but if there’s a need to verify that, use some of the methods suggested in the article. But, whatever it takes, ensure your Homeschool Diploma is legit and verifiable.